CUC Graduation

Having already photographed the Queens award and Tedx before photographing this event and gaining experience from these the Coventry University College graduation job was paid and I think this was appropriate to be. Without the previous experience this may not have been the case however, I was confident enough to be able to provide images that both myself and the client would be happy with, so providing my time for free no longer seemed appropriate. Although this does give me more experience it no longer benefits me to do events for free, unless of course they are of a higher profile. This event was much the same as the previous two events in the fact that I just needed to document the days event. This event had three parts to it: before the graduation (in the university square, outside), the graduation itself (in the cathedral) and the after party (in a hotel). Photographing all three stages of the day really allowed me to capture the whole event which will allow the audience to get a real feel of the day. I think from previous experience I was more confident in directing people in the more posed shots. Also I was more aware of my confidence in general, when documenting the event, I wasn’t as nervous when documenting the day and it didn’t cross my mind too much about getting in the way of people. I realised that I am being paid to take these images and the people at the event also want to see the documentation of their day in a more professional manner rather than just snapshots that their family have taken. Overall I think I captured the day the way the client wanted, in not an overly formal style, showing the fun of the day!

Meeting notes with George:

Rough schedule and brief is as follows:
12-12:45 – Shots around cathedral square (Students mingling, with friends/family, in gowns)
13:00 – 14:30 – Ceremony in cathedral (Few wides of the big space and audience, some tights of the speakers and handshakes – listen out for the CUC bit, only 70 grads)
14:30 – Students leaving the cathedral and heading to the Hotel (We might try and get them arranged for a ‘hat throw’ shot outside on the steps – I’ll show you how to set the camera for multi-shot if you don’t know already)
14:45 onwards – Drinks reception in hotel (Lighting not great here but we’ll have to make the best of it. They’ll have a photo-booth which could be fun and then document again).
  • Having rough timings to the event and what is going on really helps plan the day, this helps with what lenses I will need and when. Zoom and wide angle lens. It also prepares me for what lighting I will have so I can think about what settings I will need before hand.
  • Same editing as Queens Award applies, mainly on Camera RAW and only really enhancing the images. The client doesn’t want the images to be highly edited but just wants the images to represent the event well and reflect the fun that the subjects are having on the day.
  • Technical issues: in some of my images the shutter speed was a little bit too long, this is hard to avoid in poor lighting situations however it caused some blurring on a few images. This didn’t really effect the images that I submitted too much but could have. In this situation in the future I know to stick to a faster shutter speed and just increase the ISO a bit more.

Below are contact sheets of the images that were edited and sent to the client. I have highlighted the images that I think work best and represent the day as the client wants with a red square.

CUCGrad2 copyCUCGrad copy

I think that the images highlighted really show the fun of the event and the people involved having a good time. There is a wide range of images that shows each part of the day and different aspects of these as well. Overall I think that I managed to document the event well and give the client images that they were happy with. I did have a few problems with the lighting and sometimes struggled with this. However I think that I overcame this well a produced a good set of images.